Chairman Frank Bertie outlines the NAPIT Trade Association’s stance on the energy efficiency market following a comprehensive submission to the Every Home Matters review The Government’s track record on increasing the energy efficiency of buildings has been at best variable and at worst irresponsible.
By scrapping zero carbon homes and retracting funding for Home Improvement Vouchers and the Green Deal Finance Company in July 2015, they signalled a move away from providing adequate support for energy efficiency in the able to pay sector. This created much industry uncertainty and demonstrated a disregard for those who had invested in the Green Deal Scheme.
So, what next?
Well, in October 2015, DECC and DCLG jointly commissioned Dr Peter Bonfield to undertake an independent review of consumer advice, protection, enforcement and standards in the energy efficiency and renewable energy market.
The ‘Every Home Matters’ review focuses on mapping the key areas to be considered, shown in the vertical column in the table below across all of the energy efficiency categories listed in the horizontal row.
Each area is being considered by small industry groups and their recommendations will be fed into the final report. The report will outline key findings, including recommendations for the industry, and we expect it to be published in the summer.
Our response to the review has given us the opportunity to highlight the main ways the Government could ‘learn from the past’. We wanted to encourage a simple, accessible marketplace, but one which still maintains high standards and consumer protection. Our key messages are:
- Effective marketing is key to success
- Incentives or regulation will be needed to stimulate demand
- The accessibility of installers joining any scheme must be considered carefully to ensure suitable consumer protection is in place without overcomplicating entry route
- Advice for homeowners should be very clear, concise and adaptable based on their home, budget and the time they have available
- Ensuring the installation of any energy efficient measures is compliant with the Building Regulations is vital for ensuring safety and consumer satisfaction
- Installers with existing qualifications and experience must not be overlooked or disadvantaged
We hope that our concerns and advice are heard and that Dr Bonfield’s Every Home Matters report will give some much needed direction to the energy efficiency market. This key economic driver, essential to the environment and our collective standard of living, needs consistent, considered policymaking if it is to thrive. We are optimistic about the potential for our recommendations to have a positive impact on the market and create much needed certainty, and we now await the outcome of the review.